Lakon language

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Native toVanuatu
Native speakers
800 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3lkn
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Lakon [lakɔn] is an Oceanic language, spoken on the west coast of Gaua island in Vanuatu.


Lakon is named after the area where it is spoken, also known as Lakona Bay, which encompasses the west coast of Gaua. It is sometimes referred to as Lakona (after its name in Mota). Its former dialects include Qatareu (Qätärew), Vure (Vurē), Toglatareu, Togla.


Lakon has 16 phonemic vowels. These include 8 short /i ɪ ɛ æ a ɔ ʊ u/ and 8 long vowels /iː ɪː ɛː æː aː ɔː ʊː uː/.[3]

Lakon vowels
  Front Back
Near-close i u
Close-mid ɪɪː ʊʊː
Open-mid ɛɛː ɔɔː
Near-open ææː  
Open a

Historically, the phonemicisation of vowel length originates in the compensatory lengthening of short vowels when the alveolar trill /r/ was lost syllable-finally.[4]


  1. ^ François (2012:88).
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lakon". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ François (2005:445), François (2011:194).
  4. ^ François (2005:461).


External links[edit]